Too many good books out there…Part 1

I have come to the realization that there are just too many good authors and books out there. I have so many books I want to read with the boys and just not enough time to do it! Not to mention books I want to read for myself.

We always have an audio book going in the car, Jason listens to books in his room every evening and I read with the boys as much as I can…but there are still so many books out there! Currently I am reading Stuart Little with Kyle, Eragon with Jason and we are listening to The Boggart in the car. I picked up a few poem books to read to both the boys. One is entitled Exploding Gravy: Poems to Make You Laugh…Jason actually picked it up after I got back from the library and read two on his own! I am finding that he seems to enjoy poetry (if the subject matter is fun)…I think that he likes that they are short and he likes the rhythm. And I am just starting The Golden Compass (actually a young adult novel by Phillip Pullman that is supposed to be really good) and John Adams by David McCullough which I am really enjoying.

I have decided to periodically share books and authors that we have discovered along the way with you all. Hopefully you will find something that strikes your fancy! And please remember…all kids are different, so I recommend that you pre-read (or at least skim) these books to make sure they are age-appropriate for your kids. Don't just take my word for it!

Diana Wynne Jones My favorite new author we have found so far. I find myself getting lost in her books…and Jason enjoys them too! Interestingly, I have found that sometimes her books start a little bit slow but as I keep reading I get more and more hooked. Please note that she writes for all ages, including young adult, so be sure to check the books out first before choosing them for your child. I have to admit that I am enjoying this part!

The Chrestomanci Chronicles Volume I Made up of 2 books: A Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant A very unique take on wizards and witches. In these books, there are multiple parallel worlds created when a major event takes place which could have more then one outcome (such as a war being won or lost or a major event like the Industrial Revolution taking place). In some of these worlds, witches and wizards exist. In order to keep them from taking over worlds without magic, the Chrestomanci (a very powerful enchanter with 9 lives) must keep watch. These stories are about how 2 Chrestomancis come to learn about their special gifts and destiny.

The Chrestomanci Chronicles Volume II Made up of 2 books: The Magicians of Caprona and Witch Week These books take a slightly different approach…instead of being about the Chrestomanci, they are actually stories where the Chrestomanci plays a small but key role in the outcome of the book. The books themselves focus on different characters. The Magicians of Caprona focuses on a magic family in a culture similar to our Italian culture. An unknown enchanter is capitalizing on an ongoing feud between the two main magical families in Caprona. The two youngest members of each family find that it is up to them to figure out what is going on before it is too late. Witch Week is set in a boarding school in a world where witches and wizards are feared and hunted by inquisitors. Someone in class 6B is a witch but no one knows who. This story has a wonderful message but also deals with some of the more cruel kid behaviors. I actually have not read this one to Jason because he has not had much exposure to this type of behavior and I am not sure he would get why they were acting this way completely. Those of us who have been in school would definitely be able to relate though. So I will let him get a little older and bit more wordly ;o) before we read it.

Mixed Magics This book is made up of 4 short Chrestomanci stories. Since the stories are shorter, they do not have quite the same depth as the other books, but they are still fun. They pull familiar characters from Volumes I and II.

Conrad's Fate The newest book in the Chrestomanci series. We have not read it yet, but are looking forward to it!

The Dalemark Quartet My favorite series so far of her books. I started pre-reading these and got totally swept up in them. The Quartet consists of 4 books: Cart and Cwidder, Drowned Ammet, The Spellcoats and The Crown of Dalemark The first three books seem to not have much to do with each other…other then being set in the same place - Dalemark. However each holds a piece of the puzzle which is pulled together in the fourth book. I could not put the fourth book down…I was fascinated with how it was all coming together and needed to know how it ended! I still want to re-read these to see what I missed in the first reading. Which is a good because I still need to read them to Jason!

Well, this has gotten really long and I have not even gotten off my first author! Or mentioned two other books of hers that we really enjoyed: Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air.

I will have to continue tomorrow…and the next day…and the next day….and the next day…